20 comments on “Does it matter??

  1. Does it matter……ABSOLUTELY. As the mainstream continues to revise history, so to they revise clothing, gear, firearms. All I need to do is see a trailer of a film that is incorrect and they just lost my $20 to see the flick. All my fellow cohorts feel the same. Soon we’ll see steam punk CW reenactors…..pheeeeeeew. Something stinks.
    Dan “Badwater Dan” Fison

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  2. It should always matter! Nothing is more frustrating then watching a scene in either TV or feature films and seeing something you know is historically inaccurate or just worn wrong and when they are doing actions that don’t fit the time. This goes for background too! Sure a lot of people might not notice but the percentage of us that do is greater then directors and producers think! But when it’s done right and you can sit back and watch a show or film and have a hard time finding the mistakes it’s always amazing!

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  3. If you’re doing a straight historical film (as opposed to a pseudo-historical piece that uses a steampunk aesthetic, for instance) costume errors strain or destroy suspension of disbelief for knowledgeable people and create false impressions among the less knowledgeable. A desire to keep the hard core of your audience happy and a sense of responsibility about art’s role in shaping perceptions both impel creators to strive for maximum accuracy.

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  4. If the impressions of the actors/extras are incorrect, the historical integrity of the film falls into question. There is cost of producing the project either way, why not do it correctly? By having the authenticity in place, you also honor the memory of the original ancestors that are being portrayed!

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  5. Why bother making a period piece if you ignore every aspect of history from the sets, clothing, and refined attitudes? In order to show what times were really like, you need to pay attention to it all and follow history. Some attitudes of our ancestors were products of their times, but if you fail to explore these aspects and in doing so fail to bridge an understanding of history of that time. Some of the TV shows I have viewed just look like another expensive version of “Epic Battle Raps of History” (and they probably did a better job researching their history). The BBC appears to be able to produce well written and costumed period dramas and still get the ratings. You should want to make the viewer wish they could jump into the middle of the story and be part of it. History isn’t boring… but if it is not presented as it happened we will also learn nothing from it even with our modern mindset.

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  6. As a new generation of viewers and historians we have an ever growing responsibility to accurately portray history in all forms of media. Firstly, our responsibility is to those who came before us. We must not diminish the actions of our ancestors and the framers of the world we live in by placing them into unrealistic contexts. Secondly, history is a universally relevant subject that shows the true nature of human emotion and actions. When we portray it inaccurately it becomes nothing more than personally biased propaganda, creating a fake and unrealistic view of the world we live in.

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  7. In my opinion, if one is making a historic movie – one that depicts a person and actual event/time in the past – then the producers should do whatever they can to be as accurate as possible. This includes clothing, speech (within reason – I am meaning no modern slang or mannerisms), and accessories such as style of furniture, oil lamps, candles, clocks, etc., that will correctly fit the period depicted.
    Also, realism in action and all around feel should be high on the priority list.

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  8. Historical accuracy absolutely matters! In historical film, it is absolutely imparitive that aspects of the time period are represented correctly. For myself, and probably many other people that have done hours upon hours of research, nothing bothers us more than seeing something wrong. For example, if you are filming a series about the American Civil War, you need to make sure your facts are correct, your set is as close as you can get to the actual location you are depicting, and the costume designer has done enough research to get the civilians and soldiers looking correct. Also, having your actors do research on their role is another good idea if you want your audience to think of them as their historical role. Having a good grasp and understanding of the people you are representing will let your audience not only enjoy the film, but somewhat understand what times were like before 2015. Hopefully this helps you in your task of creating film representing history!

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  9. What is the point of producing a program that is supposed to be “historical” in nature, if no effort is made to correctly portray the correct appearances of the time period?? OF COURSE, historical accuracy matters, & greatly, at that!! If there is no effort at correct clothing, language, props, & background, then the general viewing public is only DECEIVED into actually believing that was the way things actually were!! It becomes nothing more than a travesty when the anachronisms are so very obvious, & all that is correct fades into the background!!

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  10. Yes it MATTERS!
    Period clothing and props make people feel , think and act more like the parts they are playing. When someone sees somebody that is so into the character that they are playing it shows.
    That means less takes, and more time work on other things.

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  11. When I watch a historical production I always pay close attention to the material culture, and so does my wife. My wife does not belong to any living history groups but she does know enough about Civil War material culture to spot a “farb” and it leaves her feeling that the production is in question if they can’t get the clothing right. I do living histories and when I see a preview for a movie, or series, that misses the mark I will not watch it. I know that if they don’t care enough to get a competent consultant for the clothing, they won’t extend the effort for the historical facts either. There are experts who are willing to work for production companies, they should use them.

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  12. Why get it wrong when history itself is so much more interesting than the usual crap produced as both entertainment and docudramas? Why insult the intelligence of your potential audience? Anyone who doesn’t know the real history, including accurate details of material culture, isn’t going to be insulted if you present the real history, and those who do know real history are insulted every time movies and television screw up reality for the sake of a safe stereotype, ignorance by producers or contrived melodrama assumed to be of interest to average people.

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  13. As a Living Historian and a costumer for stage I find it extremely distracting to the story to present a “false face”. Historical accuracy is extremely important in presenting that “face”. So much of our history has been re written and watered down that we must take extra care that any historical piece be presented with as much accuracy as possible -not only with costumes but with etiquette and decorum. What seems like a minor thing to the uninitiated (costuming and etiquette) is in reality a major factor in the telling of the story -much as sound effects and music help to move the story along but go unnoticed on the surface.

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  14. Yes , truth, honesty, integrity, historical correctness are paramount. I have not and will not see any film depicting history that is not correct. I’m well educated and informed and think better of my hard earned money.

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  15. Food for thought…..the movie fury, no idea what the budget was, but gave the audience a long overdue portrayal of the tanker in WW2, great detail totally authentic uniforms, and equipment, saving private ryan, again, no idea what the budget was, uniforms and equipment, spot on, cast was epic….both movies..made millions, and to my knowledge, detail in every frame was taken seriously….to this date, there has never been a civil war movie made…with that detail to total authenticity, the dedication, in short…injustice has been done..if you, the director, were to script, write and design, ANY, major civil war battle in the unselfish dedication to the detail, uniform , equipment and mannerisms of the men of that day…you sir..would catapult yourself into untold fame, in your own right..I have been waiting on a civil war battle movie, that would move you to the core of being a human, like saving private ryan did..I know it can be done…you can do it…all you need, is a great story..the perfect cast, and a vision…but it has to be a carbon copy…of saving private ryan….in emotion, detail, and conviction….everybody..a nation, is counting on you…research, hardwork, research, training, research…you will make millions….sincerely, pvt. Horn…ACW reenactor…

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  16. While I do enjoy a good twist in a plot, and even some of the fantasy shows like Sleepy Hollow just for fun… things are getting out of hand by producers. Being a history buff it is starting to irk me when I see so many characters portrayed out of their period and element in a program slated as “historical”
    I turn the History channel on these days and see a lot of disappointing programming.

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  17. When women of the 1860s are depicted thusly, is it any wonder that female re-enactors are taken with less seriousness than their scholarship deserves?
    We combat the same myths over and over and over again. With every woman who comes to re-enactment with dreams of media like this, the memory of the women who lived the era dies just a little more and the soul and voice of women who give a damn are silenced.
    Costume designers need to “woman up” and focus on getting it right. I am a costume designer and I know it is possible. You’ll gain a reputation for being a “dragon lady” and being difficult to work with… but also for attention to detail, serious work, and artistic integrity.
    No, women of the era did not dress as depicted in this film and yes, it is important. WE NOTICED.

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  18. The accuracy and attention to detail matters a great deal! Especially when there are so many talented purveyors and artists recreating material items in this country from the Rev. to Civil Wars and beyond. I assume that movie companies dress their main characters out of just a Hollywood grade or less, costume shop, and it shows. Recently I was watching one of the Founding Fathers programs on History Channel, and could easily tell how they screwed up big time. The main characters looked horrible! Bad, cheap Halloween grade “costumes” and wigs from a dumpster. While the reenactors they hired for the background and battle scenes looked great. I turned it off after about 30 minutes, before my image of Washington was ruined forever. Years ago, Ang Lee did “Ride With the Devil” about the War in Missouri and Kansas. I think he did a pretty descent job. Not only in the wardrobe dept., but coreography and storyline was pretty acurate. The “patriot” we all like and not because of “historical
    accuracy” or lack of, but the costumes, sets, etc. They royally screwed up the story of the Swamp Fox, but did not spare on the other details. The Gettysburg and Gods and Generals movies, mileage may vary, but overall pretty good as well. Solution, I think production companies should consult living historians more often who are accredited in the hobby. Recently I had the opportunity to work with Left/Right in producing a short documentary for the Alamo. They were very professional and took our advice on things of historical accuracy. I personally rented a few pieces of antique furniture that would have been close to what would have been there including, iron work and spanish colonial candlesticks, etc. This was all necessary to help with making the settings to be appropriate or close to as currently known. It went over well and they were respectful if our opinions and dedication to it. Well, for what it’s worth, there are my two cents, which you’ll probably find pretty similar stories and solutions as the comments continue. Thanks

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    • I think it does matter to teach the public right about history, it would be a honor to help do that in anyway, like most reenacters I wanna teach history correctly the way it really happened, I have been doing this for sometime now along with Jeff Trexler. we spend long hours making sure Jeff’s work is historical correct right down to the smallest detail. Please take the time to see Jeffs work and I’m sure that would speak for itself. Jeff lets me know when he wants to do a painting, then I look into my stable of great reenactors who pass my eye test, that way we have great kits and moreover, the pride and passion thats comes from the heart that can not be taught, that shows in Jeff’s work. Thats what I would bring to the table the same pride and passion. thats why it so important to me to do this correct so we will all notice and it will make a difference.

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  19. Authenticity is critical but rarely achieved, even in the projects you’ve been involved with. I cross my fingers every time is watch a period piece. I’m educated on material culture of the 18th & 19th c. and have expertise in lighting devices. An example that consistently repeats itself is the flawlessly portrayed CW soldier, 100% correct in appearance and equipment standing in a room with an oil lamp that wouldn’t exist until 1880-90. Or a colonial scene with examples of ceramics, glass or lighting some of which wouldn’t exist for another 60 years. I’m not one of these people that looks for anything to criticize but many experts are available for “on the cheap” or even free. Call Me! One movie, “Amistad” (1997) portraying 1839 New England, was so visually accurate it left a mark on many a historian. The more accurate the films get, the better we all look.

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